Posts tagged: Patty Murray
During a Senate Appropriations Subcommittee hearing today, Sen. Patty Murray questioned Air Force officials about reports that nearly two-thirds of military women who reported sexual assaults were retaliated against by their commanders.
The answer by Gen. Mark Welsh, Air Force chief of staff, “we have to investigate that extensively.” He also said the Air Force is looking at how to change its organizational structure.
At the beginning of the clip, Murray, D-Wash., offers condolences for the recent loss of the KC-135 tanker with the Fairchild Air Force Base crew over Kyrgyzstan and gets in a plug for bringing the first squadrons of new tankers to the West Plains base.
Welsh said the decision on the first base for the new tankers is expected later this month.
WASHINGTON — A change in Pentagon security procedures almost derailed Spokane's most recent formal pitch for new refueling tankers to land at Fairchild Air Force Base.
A group of city business and political leaders were in Washington, D.C. last week to meet with lawmakers and bureaucratic bigwigs to lobby for several pet projects. Chief among those was ensuring the new KC-46A tanker aircraft, rolling off Boeing production lines in Everett, would wind up in Fairchild's hangars.
But several members of the group, including Mayor David Condon and Greater Spokane Incorporated CEO Rich Hadley, found themselves on the curb looking in when Pentagon security required two forms of identification to enter the building…
To read the rest of this item or to comment, continue inside the blog.
WASHINGTON — A group of education and industry professionals from Washington state offered U.S. lawmakers their suggestions to promote science, technology, education and math instruction Tuesday on Capitol Hill.
The meeting, co-hosted by Washington STEM, Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers and Sen. Patty Murray, focused on the skills gap that exists in the four disciplines between graduates and industries. The panel included representatives from Microsoft, Highline School District south of Seattle and Greater Spokane Incorporated President Rich Hadley.
Washington state ranks first in the nation in STEM jobs per capita. However, it ranks 46th in advanced degrees earned by students in those fields.
Hadley stressed the need to align class offerings in early and secondary education with the demands of the modern workforce. He said health care training was key in the Spokane area.
“The life science industry in Spokane is probably the largest benefactor of increased STEM training,” Hadley said. He pointed to several biomedical programs at Spokane Public Schools as successes of STEM-targeted instruction in eastern Washington.
Sen. Maria Cantwell addressed the panel, calling for compulsory computer science education in secondary curricula and expressing her interest in an immigration proposal that would channel fees from skilled worker visa applications to domestic STEM education funding.
WASHINGTON — The first official steps toward passing a Senate budget will be taken next week, Budget Committee Chairman Patty Murray said today.
The Democratic senior senator from Washington announced two sessions scheduled for Feb. 12 and 13. Murray has vowed, amid rebukes from House Republicans about the four-year absence of a Senate spending plan, to pass a budget resolution this spring. The legal deadline to bring a resolution to the Senate floor for approval is April 1.
The 22-member committee, which also includes Idaho Republican Sen. Mike Crapo, will first hear from Congressional Budget Office Director Douglas Elmendorf. Elmendorf will answer questions about the nonpartisan group’s Budget and Economic Outlook report released Tuesday.
That report projected a shrinking deficit in 2013, falling to around $845 billion from more than $1 trillion in 2012. That would make 2013’s deficit near 5 percent of GDP, its lowest level since President Barack Obama entered office. However, the report predicts rising deficits over the next decade due to “the pressures of an aging population, rising health care costs, an expansion of federal subsidies for health insurance, and growing interest payments on federal debt.”
In response to the report’s findings, Murray reaffirmed her commitment to protect certain spending programs and explore revenue-increasing measures.
“We need to continue working to cut spending responsibly, protect and strengthen programs like Medicare, and raise revenue by closing tax loopholes that the wealthiest Americans and biggest corporations take advantage of,” Murray said in a statement.
On Feb. 13, the committee is expected to hear from representatives of the public testifying on how federal budget decisions affect them. Murray has stressed her commitment to involving public input in the resolution drafting process, which has included soliciting their suggestions on the committee’s website through a program called “MyBudget.”
Senate Democrats are in Annapolis, Md., for a legislative retreat that is expected to last through Wednesday. Budget issues will likely be on the table among a number of fiscal policy issues, including deep spending cuts to defense and discretionary programs set to kick in next month.
Murray announced the hearings via Twitter with the comment, “Looking fwd to getting to work!”
The Washington Post has posted a 12-page memo from U.S. Sen. Patty Murray outlining her positions on writing a budget for 2014.
Murray, D-Wash., argues that deficit reduction has so far focused almost entirely on cuts and not enough on “revenue” — tax increases.
“We need to make sure any budget deal we make is balanced, fair for the middle class, and calls on the wealthiest Americans to pay their fair share,” Murray wrote in her letter introcuding the memo.
Murray, who was in Spokane last week highlighting job programs, is the new chairwoman of the Senate Budget Committee.
The memo and Ezra Klein's analysis is worth a glance and is a good outline for the Democrats' position and interal battles in the upcoming budget showdown brewing in Congress.
The new leader of the U.S. Senate’s Budget Committee said Tuesday that Republican threats to shutdown the government are irresponsible.
U.S. Sen. Patty Murray, D-Wash., said there will be opportunities to negotiate budget cuts without crafting a deal around increasing the county’s borrowing limit.
“The budget ceiling debate just puts our country in a very precarious position where we’re defaulting on our loans,” said Murray, who held a forum about job programs in Spokane on Tuesday. “That puts every business and person in our country in jeopardy. And it’s not a good place to be debating.”
To read more of this item, or to comment, click here to go inside the blog.
This week’s votes to keep income tax rates from rising for most Americans split the House delegations in Washington and Idaho, but unified the two state’s senators behind the last-minute deal.
Two Washington Democrats in the House voted against the tax changes, while the state’s three other Democrats and all four Republicans voted yes.
Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers, R-Wash., said Wednesday her vote was a close call that came down on the side of tax cuts: “My vote last night was to reduce taxes for as many Americans as possible.”
Spokane's Veterans Affairs Medical Center moved a step closer to getting a new name today as the Senate passed a bill to name it after two local Medal of Honor winners.
The Northwest Spokane facility would become the Mann-Grandstaff Department of Veterans Affairs Medical Center in honor of Pfc. Joe E. Mann and Platoon Sgt. Bruce Grandstaff.
Mann was a member of the 101st Airborne in World War II who was wounded four times while destroying an enemy artillery position near Best, in The Netherlands. Later that night, with both arms bandaged to his body, he volunteered for sentry duty and when the Germans attacked and a grenade was thrown, he threw himself on the grenade to save other members of his unit.
Grandstaff was a member of the 4th Infantry Division in Vietnam who was leading a reconnaisance mission that was ambushed near the Cambodian border. He crawled through enemy fire to rescue his men, and crawled outside the safe position to mark the location with smoke grenades for aerial support. He continued to fight until mortally wounded, then called in an artillery barrage to knock out enemy forces.
The Senate passed legislation sponsored by Democrat Patty Murray to rename the center. A companion bill sponsored by Republican Cathy McMorris Rodgers is pending in the House of Representatives.
There appears only one problem with this idea: Mann-Grandstaff Department of Veterans Affairs Medical Center is a really long name, so someone is going to have to come up with a way to shorten it. If you've got any suggestions, put them in the comment section.
Senate Democrats may decry the filibuster now, but in 2005, when they were in the minority, they were all for it.
Note the young guy speaking in favor of it at the start. Sen. Patty Murray shows up about 1:40 in.
Patty Murray will be the Senate's chief budget writer next year when Congress convenes for its new session.
The Washington Democrat announced today she will seek the chairmanship of the Senate Budget Committee, a position that will become open at the end of the year with the retirement of Sen. Kent Conrad of North Dakota. Although the position won't become official until the new Congress meets, Democrats will hold a 55-45 majority in the chamber so the result is a foregone conclusion.
The committee also considers the nation's economic policy and the budgetary impact of “everything we do and everything wie fight on,” Murray said. She hopes to expand the discussions of the committee, which in recent years have focused on debt and deficits, to consider the other side of the budget: the nation's spending priorities and the investments it should make.
“It gives me a really good place to fight for the priorities of Washington state,” she said, such as the cleanup of waste at the Hanford Nuclear Reservation, better transportation systems, military and veterans issues and improved job training for health care and aerospace workers.
Flag placed in a name of a victim of the 9/11 attacks at the Ground Zero memorial in New York.
Sept. 11 is traditionally a day for politicians to reflect on their thoughts and remembrances of that day in 2001.
Today was no different. Inside the blog are some comments from local office holders about the day. You can read them by clicking here.
While voting to re-elect Barack Obama, please help keep Republicans from taking control of the Senate, Patty Murray asked delegates to the Democratic National Convention.
Murray, Washington's senior senator who also leads the organization dedicated to electing Democrats to that chamber, got an early evening speaking slot to boost Obama, knock GOP nominee Mitt Romney and make a pitch for a Democratic Congress.
She reiterated the Democrats line of the night, that Obama believes in “an economy that's built from the middle out, not from the top down.” That Republican proposals could turn Medicare into a voucher system, repeal health care reforms and take away abortion rights.
“To them, every problem is a nail and the onlly hammer they have is cutting taxes for millionaires and billionaires,” she said. “With a Republican Congress riding shotgun, Mitt Romney will put the middle class on the roof and take our country on a long ride.”
'About an hour after her speech, the Republican National Committee issued a statement that Democrats were resorting to “false attacks to distract from their abysmal record” that includes high debt and employment above 8 percent for 42 months. “Nothing the Democrats can say will change the fact that voters know they are not better off after four years of failed policies and leadership,” Ted Kwong, a GOP spokesman, said.
Sen. Patty Murray has a pre-prime time speaking role at the Democratic National Convention today.
Washington's senior senator will be the third scheduled speaker in the block of speakers on tap from 3 p.m. to 4 p.m. Pacific Time.
Convention schedule says it will be AFL-CIO president Richard Trumka, Rep. Steve Israel of New York, then Murray. She'll be followed by Rep. Pedro Pierluisi and a video on Energy.
Take all 535 members of Congress, and select out 30 for special recognition via a “Best of Congress” award.
In that group of 30, place Washington Sen. Patty Murray and Reps. Cathy McMorris Rodgers, Dave Reichert and Adam Smith, and Idaho Sen. Mike Crapo.
That kind of list was just announced. Who gave them the award, and for what?
Last week, like most weeks, among the hundreds of e-mails that made it through the spam filter were some cheery yet urgent missives from politicians.
Among them was one from Patty Murray, Washington’s Democratic senior senator, andanother from Sen. John Cornyn, a Texas Republican. Not surprisingly, they both wanted the same thing. Money.
To read the rest of this item, go inside the blog.
The U.S. Department of Transportation will give the state $10 million for the North Spokane Corridor, to be used to help relocate some railroad tracis and extend a bike trail.
A joint announcement from U.S. Sens. Maria Cantwell, Patty Murray and Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers says the state will get the money from the feds on Friday.
The money is known as a TIGER grant, which stands for Transportation Investment Generating Economic Recovery. It will be used to relocate 7.5 miles of BNSF rail lines near the Freya Street interchange, and to extend a bike and pedestrian trail for 1 mile into Hillyard.
All three members of Congress described the North Spokane Corridor — also known by some as the North-South Freeway — as a top priority for them and the community.
The Air Force released the criteria today for deciding which of its bases will get the first new air refueling tankers, and Fairchild will be among about 60 bases being considered.
That means the Air Force won't limit those first KC-46As to a base that already serves as a current home for tankers, but will look at most facilities in the continental United States. The main criteria for making this first list for consideration?
“A runway,” a spokeswoman for the officer of the Secretary of the Air Force said after a short description of the criteria was released. That's essentially all bases with airplanes, although not every Air Force base has planes, Ann Stefanek said.
From that most basic of necessities for a jet patterned after the Boeing 767 commercial airliner, the Air Force will consider other important details, such as the capacity of the fueling system, available space on the runway, size of hangars, proximity to planes needing to be refueled, airspace availability, environmental considerations and costs.
The Air Force expects to have scores for all the potential bases sometime this summer, Stefanek said, and narrow the list further to a small group of top scorers from which the preferred site and reasonable alternatives will be chosen late this year.
The Air Force began briefing members of Congress and posted the criteria briefly on its website this afternoon. It later removed the criteria, even though it kept a link with a picture of a prototype of the new tanker refueling a cargo plane that promised information about the criteria.
Sen. Patty Murray, D-Washington, said she believes the criteria puts Fairchild Air Force Base in a ” very competitive position” to be an early home for the new planes, which will be built in Everett: “I'm confident that Fairchild's long tanker history, strong community support and joint operations between the Active Duty and Guard place it in an ideal position to succeed.”
The West Plains base has a new runway and a new wing headquarters under construction, Murray said in an e-mail. A letter from the state's congressional delegation to Air Force leaders on how the base stacks up to the criteria could be sent as soon as Tuesday.
To read the Air Force announcement of criteria for the first two new tanker bases, and the tanker “formal training unit, click here to go inside the blog.
The New York Times recently discovered a phenomenon about Washington that most state residents take for granted. We tend to elect women to office.
Last week, “All the News that’s Fit to Print” included a story about the evolving nature of women in politics that focused on Gov. Chris Gregoire and Sens. Patty Murray and Maria Cantwell. That’s because Washington is the only state with women in all three of those statewide positions. That will end next year, the Times noted, because Gregoire’s not seeking re-election and the likely replacements are men.
It also mentioned the state had a woman as chief justice of the state Supreme Court, an earlier woman governor, Dixy Lee Ray, and Seattle has a woman for mayor back in the 1920s.
Had it looked just a tad east, the Times might have discovered Eastern Washington residents are even more prone to female representation, with a woman as their U.S. Representative, and until the beginning of this year when Spokane’s chief executive left office, many city residents north of the river had a woman as mayor, a city councilwoman and a state senator.
The fact that Mary Verner lost to David Condon doesn’t suggest residents are any less likely to elect a woman. Rather, it suggests that women may have achieved something close to equality in local politics, where their gender wasn’t a major factor in their election or unelection.
Still, it’s a decent article, with a great photo.
OLYMPIA — You never know who will show up in the “wings” of the Senate or House chambers.
That's the area behind the curtains, off the main floor, where members come and go, chat, discuss legislation.
On Monday, two former legislators who have now gone on to bigger things bumped into each other as Sen. Maria Cantwell was leaving the Senate Democratic Caucus room, and Sen. Patty Murray was going in.
Both are in the state during the Presidents' Day recess in Congress.
Sen. Patty Murray, in the state Senate wings on Monday.
Sen. Patty Murray is getting some mileage out of a recent e-mail she sent out as head of the group that raises money to elect or re-elect Democrats to the Senate.
In it, Murray denounces both a comment by a prominent Rick Santorum supporter on “old-style” birth control and an all-male panel discussing contraception in a House Committee.
I feel like I woke up this morning on the set of “Mad Men.” Republicans have set their time machine for the 1950s – back when, according to one prominent Republican, women could just “put aspirin between their knees” to avoid getting pregnant.
According to a follow -up from the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee, the Aspirin Agenda appeal was a big hit on the money-raising circuit. Murray got mentioned on Meet the Press in a discussion of the controversy which is sometimes framed as being over contraception and other times being about religious freedom.
Talking heads can argue that point on TV through the election if they want. It's your typically breathless, the sky is falling, “please give us your money before some deadline passes” appeal for campaing cash.
But Spin Control wants to point out one slight flaw in Murray's e-mail.
“Mad Men” is not set in the 1950s. It is set in the 1960s.
True, the '50s is probably considered a more Republican decade, with Ike in the White House, Joe McCarthy in the Senate and men in gray flannel suits. The '60s is probably viewed as the more Democratic decade, with JFK and LBJ, Civil Rights and anti-war protests, flower children, hippies and yippies.
But the adventures of Don Draper, et al, start in 1960, when the ad firm is hired to work on the presidential campaign of a young candidate, a World War II vet that many people see as his party's next generation of leaders. Richard Nixon.
The full e-mail is inside the blog, for those who aren't on the DSCC list.